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Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill


"Conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest."Boehner: "A national embarassment."

In this Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 file photo, miles of pipe ready to become part of the Keystone Pipeline are stacked in a field near Ripley, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

President Barack Obama vetoed the Keystone XL oil pipeline approval bill on Tuesday, following through on his threat after it passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate.

The White House notified the Senate of the veto Tuesday afternoon. It marks Obama's first veto since Republicans won control of Congress in November, and the third overall of his presidency.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks before signing a memorandum directing the Federal Government not to discriminate against long-term unemployed job seekers at the White House in Washington, D.C., January 31, 2014. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images) Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Obama in a message to the Senate said Congress had tried to "circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest."

"The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously," Obama said. "But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest -- including our security, safety, and environment -- it has earned my veto."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said earlier Tuesday that the president’s veto was based entirely on waiting for the State Department to complete its review of the pipeline project.

He said it's “certainly is possible” that Obama could support the pipeline in the future if the State Department concludes it will not harm the environment.

The State Deparment’s review has been going on for 2,300 days, which Earnest admitted during the press briefing as “in-depth.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called Obama's veto a "national embarrassment."

“The president’s veto of the Keystone jobs bill is a national embarrassment,” Boehner said in a statement. “It’s embarrassing when Russia and China are plowing ahead on two massive pipelines and we can’t get this one no-brainer of a project off the ground.”

The office of House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tweeted that the Senate would vote on an override "soon," though it's unlikely Republicans could mount the necessary votes.

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